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One African-American person, Louis Butler Jr., has served as a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice since Wisconsin became a state in 1848. However, he was never elected to the seat. Butler, then a Milwaukee County judge, was appointed to the high court in 2004 by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle to fill a vacancy. Butler was defeated by Michael Gableman in the 2008 election for a 10-year term. All seven current justices are white.
An election for one seat will be held in 2023. One of the four candidates in the Feb. 21 primary, Dane County Judge Everett Mitchell, is Black. The two candidates with the most votes will compete in the spring election on April 4.
About 87% of Wisconsin’s population identifies as while; about 7% identify as Black or African-American.
Twenty-eight states have no Black Supreme Court justices, New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice reported in May.
Wisconsin Courts: Portraits of Justice | The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s First 150 Years
Wisconsin Courts: Wisconsin Court System
Wisconsin Courts: Justice Louis J. Butler, Jr.
State of Wisconsin: Wisconsin Elections Commission
Wisconsin Law Journal – WI Legal News & Resources: Butler gets the nod
Brennan Center for Justice: State Supreme Court Diversity — May 2022 Update